A Brief History

The Timeline

  • 1971: Project Gutenberg launched by Michael E Hart is the first digital library
    • The Declaration of Independence becomes the first eBook in the world
  • 1985: Commodore launch the Amiga personal computer
  • 1990: No:1 US bestseller of the time - The Plains of Passage by Jean M. Auel
  • 1993: The OnlineBooksPage a list of free ebooks
    • Mosaic the first graphical web browser is released
  • 1994: Some publishers get bold and go digital
  • 1995: Amazon.com is the first main online bookstore
  • 1997: BBC News launch their online service
  • 1998: Google Inc is founded
    • Rocket eBook launches
  • 2000: Stephen King offers his new book as a download
    • 400,000 copies are downloaded in the first 24 hours
  • 2002: Random House and Harper Collins start to sell eBooks
  • 2005: Google gets interested in eBooks
    • Bookboon.com launch allowing people to download travel guides & text books
  • 2007: Amazon launch the Kindle in the US
    • 90,000 eBooks available in the Kindle Store
    • Apple launches the iPhone
  • 2008: BooksOnBoard sell eBooks for iPhones
    • Facebook hits 100 million users
  • 2009: Amazon launch the Kindle 2 and ship to 169 countries
    • Barns & Noble introduce the Nook eReader in the US
  • 2010: Apple releases the iPad with iBooks/iBookstore.
    • Amazon report eBook sales outnumber sales of hardcover books.

What to Look For

We found that the best eBook readers have a good combination of abilities in all of the below categories. They offer convenience and the opportunity for the eBook reader to disappear in your hands, just like a physical book would, as you dive into the world of reading.

With the variety of eBook readers available, you really get the opportunity to pick and choose the features and design that fit you best.


Some eBook readers offer E-Ink that makes you feel more like you are reading an actual book, while others offer LCD colour screens that make images and movies come to life. Some offer button navigation and some have touch screen navigation. Which is better for you? Does screen size matter? Do you want to know how much they each weigh? While some design aspects will depend on the user (E-Ink vs. LCD).


Some eReaders have hundreds of thousands of titles available from a dedicated service, while others can support a few files found on the internet. Obviously it is important the amount of content available for the device and how many different files each device can support. Usually, the more file types the better, because that gives you more purchasing and therefore reading options.

Memory/Battery Life

The battery life of your eReader is crucial. Nobody wants their reading devices to run out of power before the climax of their novels. The number of pages that you can turn on a single charge and the amount of memory available for storing books are important for making the eReader experience more enjoyable.

Additional Features

There is always room for extra features to enjoy while reading a book. Some of these include the number of gray-scale levels, audio formats, image formats, text-to-speech feature, apps, email, internet surfing and so much more.

Current top selling eReaders on the market at the moment.

iPad mini, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Kindle Paperwhite 3G, Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light, Nook Tablet, Nook Colour, Kobo Go Wireless eReader, ECTACO jetBook Lite

eBook Reviews

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